“My songs process my feelings of nostalgia, and the passion and desire I have buried deep inside to take risks and break free from the comfort of the past,” confides indie-pop songwriter Joe Wood.
Joe shrouds his lyrics in a wash of dreamy synthscapes, jagged guitars, rugged hip-hop beats, and sharp pop hooks. His words capture the mania, anxiety, and alienation of being a 20-something artist in New York City. His addictive pop sensibility is like an opiate, tranquilizing the jittery effects of heartbreak and disappointment.
The Brooklyn-based indie artist makes his debut with the woozy indie-pop gem, “Rush,” which has recently beenfeatured on season four (episode nine) of Starz’s critically acclaimed crime drama television series Power. He will follow up this auspices debut with a series of singles.
Joe counts The Neighborhood, Majid Jordan, Blackhear, HERO, and Verite as influences. He writes, produces, tracks, and performs his cinematic electro-pop pop in his apartment studio in Brooklyn. He brings a homespun DIY approach to his tracks nurtured from his early trial and error experiments splicing together hip-hop samples when he was in middle school and high school. Therefore, Joefavors a limited toolkit of affordable gear, stock synth sounds, drum samples, and a guitar to build his richly layered pop compositions.
It would seem Joe was destined to be a musician. He was born with perfect pitch, taught himself piano and guitar, and came out of the gate a gifted songwriter with a knack for irresistible hooks. His talent was truly innate, as Joe was not born into a musical family. In fact, Joe’s father, his father’s side of the family, and Joe’s sister, are hearing impaired.
Coming of age, Joe spent many years lost, channeling his creativity into frustrating and ill-fitting directions. Eventually, he moved to New York City from his quaint Long Island hometown to become an actor. That’s when things all changed. “When I moved here, I started to write music from the heart as a way to deal with my fears of not being successful, and my fears of being alone and lost in this huge city,” he shares.
On a whim, Joe uploaded a demo of his first single,“Rush,” online, and it became included on a licensing company’s randomized playlist. One day, while at his thankless catering job, Joe got an email that the song was chosen to be placed on Power. It was a galvanizing moment. The opportunity afforded Joe a springboard to launch his career, and it gave him the validation he neededto press ahead. “It was time to take a risk and do it in a big way—no more excuses,” he says recalling that transformative moment.
Now, Joe will be releasing a program of hip-hop tinged electro-pop singles, the first being,” Rush.” Here, Joe sneaks sincerity and sentimentality in an alluring dream-pop track. “That song is about wanting to feel something genuine after going through waves of frustration and heartbreak,” he details.
Unlike many bedroom visionaries, Joe is an unabashed natural performer. “Sitting in front of the computer meticulously producing tracks is not exciting for me,” he says with a good-natured laugh. “My favorite place to be is onstage. There, there is no filter and there is no insecurity—onstage is where I show people who I really am.”
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